Likoma Festival takes a break


The country’s economic crisis has not spared the arts industry as Likoma Festival has become the latest arts celebration that will not take place this year.

One of the organisers, Potex Kamenya Banda, said the festival, which takes place at Likoma Island, will take a break this year due to lack of funding.

“Most of our sponsors have not committed to supporting us. This is because of the country’s economic downturn which has affected their businesses. The event will possibly be back next year,” he said.

This becomes the second festival to take a break this year. The country’s celebrated Lake of Stars also announced of the same earlier this year.

Malipenga dancers during last year’s festival

Meanwhile, friends of St Mark’s Anglican Church at the island have organised a ship cruise from Monkey Bay to Likoma in October aboard the speedy MV Chilembwe.

Spokesperson for the trip, Peter Chiwaula, said the ship cruise will start from Monkey Bay on Saturday, October 14 and stop over at Salima. The ship will be expected to arrive at Likoma Island on the same day.

He said the return trip will be on Monday via the same route. Charges are K80 000 per head for the return trip, he added.

Chiwaula said the ship cruise has been organised to raise funds for the reconstruction of St Mark’s Church, which was built in 1898 and dedicated in 1905.

St Mark was the first church on the island. Construction for the current and historical St Peter’s Cathedral started afterwards in 1903 by white missionaries.

“St Mark is important for tourism because of its history. Its site is also within walkable distance of tourist destinations Kaya Mawa and Mango Drift which is convenient for tourists who may wish to congregate with the locals,” he said.

Apart from the cruise, organisers intend to have other fundraising events such as dinner and music concerts.

Some of the concerts will be held in Blantyre on August 25 and Lilongwe on September 1 where Ndirande Anglican Voices, Great Angels Choir, Thoko Katimba and others will be expected to perform. n

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